All community members are invited to a Vets Town Hall outdoors at Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington, Vermont. Veterans of any era who served in any capacity are invited to stand before their community and speak for up to ten minutes about what it was like to serve their country. Non-veterans are encouraged to attend and listen.
This event is non-political, and all perspectives are valued. There will be no debate on American foreign policy.
Based on feedback from both speakers and attendees, there will be a question-and-answer period with some of the speakers at the end of the event.
This VTH will take place outdoors, to allow us to gather as safely and comfortably as possible.
You can RSVP on Eventbrite here. RSVPs are encouraged, but optional.
For speakers: Tell us what your service means to you. Please tell us about your own experiences, whatever they may be, rather than speaking broadly about an issue or organization. You’re a member of our community, and it’s your stories, reflections, and insights that we’re anxious to hear.
Each veteran will be given up to 10 minutes to speak. Veterans who would like to speak can contact email@example.com, or mark that preference when registering on eventbrite. If you’re considering speaking but prefer not to register, we encourage you to attend. After pre-registered speakers go, the host will take speakers from the floor, time permitting. The goal is for every veteran who would like to speak to have a chance to do so.
Of course, veterans (and all community members) are also welcome to simply attend and listen.
For attendees: All community members are invited to this event. Only veterans will speak, but non-veterans are encouraged to attend and listen.
Throughout the event, you may hear something you agree or disagree with. You may have a question. Or you may want to say encouraging words with the intention to help. However, we ask that you please refrain from responding. We are simply here to listen and learn about what it was like to serve in the wars that this nation has chosen to fight.
Parents: Your children are welcome to attend with you, but when deciding whether or not to bring them, please be aware that speakers will address serious topics and that this is not a rehearsed event.
For organizations: There won’t be any tabling at the event, in order to make sure the focus is clearly on the speakers and the experiences being shared. Of course, it’s important to share information about resources as well, so there will be a table with literature from various organizations. Please don’t hesitate to bring some fliers for this table. Representatives from Veterans Service Organizations are also welcome to bring business cards and share those. If your organization has representatives who are veterans, they are welcome to speak – but we ask that they speak as individuals, not on behalf of the organization.
Jon Turner will host the event. Jon served with the Marines between 2003-2007 and deployed to Haiti, Fallujah and Ramadi, Iraq. Since his discharge, he has traveled extensively and worked with various communities to assist in the veteran reintegration process from paper-making to outdoor recreation and farming. In 2014, Jon began to utilize the agricultural landscape as a classroom for community members interested in resilient food systems through service learning projects, internships, and site visits for K-12, college students, and military veterans. Jon is the founding and former chair of the Vermont state chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition, recipient of the National Farm to School Innovations Grant, Sierra Club Military Outings Leader, and currently operates Wild Roots Community Farm in Bristol.
Rain Plan: In case of bad weather, the event will be moved to October 3rd.
Do I have to RSVP? Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event? RSVPs are encouraged, because it helps us plan for this event, and helps get in touch with you about any updates or changes (e.g. a rain date in case of severe weather). However, RSVPs are optional, and we will be happy to see you at the town hall whether or not you’ve registered. Since this event is unticketed, there is no need to print a ticket. Seating is first come, first served.
How can I contact the organizer and/or learn more about these events? Please email Kristen at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. There’s also more information at at www.vtvetstownhall.org
Thank you to:Jon Turner, for hosting the event, Ethan Allen Homestead for sponsoring the venue, Community College of Vermont for providing marketing and other support (photos in header also courtesy of Thomas Shahan, Community College of Vermont), the many individuals and organizations who have offered advice, feedback, and support